Seeing the Unseen
1ghost noun \ˈgōst\
: the soul of a dead person thought of as living in an unseen world or as appearing to living people
a disembodied soul; especially : the soul of a dead person believed to be an inhabitant of the unseen world or to appear to the living in bodily likeness
Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog home, Kylie! It’s a pleasure to be here. I have to ask you, is your place haunted? ’Cause I’m putting it out there now: I am a believer. Spirits, ghouls, ghosts, apparitions…whatever you want to call them, I truly think they exist. I believe we leave an imprint of ourselves when we leave this earth. Some people can see this imprint, but the majority of us are blind to it. It was my mother who normalised the concept of the spirit world for me. She filled my head with stories about ghosts she’d seen and heard. Mum made them sound like such a cool experiences that I would wish so hard for a ghost encounter. A Casper the Friendly Ghost kind, not a horror-movie-style poltergeist kind, that is.
I’ve shivered through ghost tours, scared myself silly watching countless ghost shows and movies, worked in a haunted cinema, got married in a haunted inn, lived in haunted houses (including my current home). But have I seen the unseen myself? I’m not sure. That’s not to say I’ve never walked into a room and felt something. Like an unusual drop in temperature. A certain thickening of the air. Chills racing along my spine.
When my stepmother passed away, the next day I could swear I smelled her perfume and felt her hand on my shoulder. She adored lady beetles, and when I first visited her grave, a little red beetle landed on my arm. Whether that was a sign of her existence after death or just a coincidence, it comforted me. The question is, do I really have a semi-functional sixth sense? Or do I spend too much time in draughty old places in need of pest control?
One person whose sixth sense is working overtime is Keira Nolan, the 16-year-old heroine in my debut YA, This Is Your Afterlife (Bloomsbury Spark).
Keira’s finally got what she wanted—the captain of the football team in her bedroom. Problem is he’s not in the flesh. He’s a ghost and she’s the only one who can see him. Jimmy’s ghost isn’t something to be afraid of. In fact, he’s endearing to her. Keira’s heart bleeds for a life cut short, and she’ll do anything to help Jimmy’s spirit find peace. Even it if means teaming up with his prickly-yet-attractive brother, Dan. But she struggles with being suddenly psychic. (To be more accurate, she’s suddenly clairvoyant, but it doesn’t quite have the same ring, does it?) Would people think she’s deluded? Or would the person responsible for Jimmy’s death use Keira’s gift against her?
Thanks again for having me here, Kylie. I’d like to ask your readers, have you ever seen a ghost?